What education blogs have captured your imagination in 2015 and which will you be reading in 2016?
We now have reliable information that tells us that teachers are now shaping the landscape across the UK. Reading the TES or any other national newspaper is no longer deemed a single and valid source of information to gather a view of what is going on at the chalkface. There are so many educators who are blogging across the country and each year, more and more voices starting to be heard. For those who blog and/or read them regularly, they will know that we are shaping the landscape and that the DfE and OfSTED are reading our views.
If teachers can organise themselves, we can move policy.
We only need to look at various blogging projects, where teachers have come together to be creative; to organise campaigns and petitions; to write letters to the Secretary of State; and to organise collective responses to government proposals to know that teachers, blogging together, can shape national policy and allow our views to be heard. We also know that bloggers who are regular writers, and those that reach a wide audience, are also been snapped up by publishers, editorials and CPD providers as a new source of information.
Blogs of 2015:
These blogs are a small collection of websites I regularly read, nothing else. There are 1,000s of other bloggers and far too many to list here; I do read blogs about opinions I disagree with, the blogs that question the work we are all doing or sharing online. Here I am sharing the blogs that frequently feed my thoughts and this alone. There are many others I would like to note here, but creating something concise and easy to access would make this post a contradiction.
In no particular order, here are the blogs I have regularly tuned into throughout 2015 and some of the blogs I will be reading more throughout 2016;
… also known as @NancyGedge – she is the TES Blogger of the Year 2015; Gedge is also ‘a good egg’ and I had the privilege of working with her last year at SLTeachMeet in July 2014. I can’t wait for the release of her new book.
You can follow her blog at NotSoOrdinaryDiary.wordpress.com
… also known as @ICTEvangelist; Anderson and I have been exchanging thoughts for 3 or 4 years now, so much so, I consider him to be a friend. In terms of blogging, he is a powerhouse and his content and passion for ICT is second to none. If you need any kind of advice whatsoever, Anderson is the number one source I go to for all my ICT queries. Apps, website support, latest technology, you name it; Anderson has opinions and plenty of examples to back it up.
You can follow his blog at ICTEvangelist.com
… also know as @LeadingLearner still considers himself new to blogging and social media and often questions his own expertise. The quality of his blogs, thoughts and ideas when public speaking at conferences and TeachMeets are clear to be seen. Tierney is moving the landscape of thought at national policy and this can only be a good thing. I only wish more headteachers were blogging. I also consider Tierney to be a mentor, someone who has guided me personally and professionally over the last 3 or 4 years. A distant friendship sparked from a common-hobby to blog.
You can follow his blog at LeadingLearner.me
… also know as @headguruteacher. I worked with Tom over 10 years ago and we regularly catch up at conferences, TeachMeets and online. It is always reassuring to know, that someone you had much faith in years ago is still working and modelling their beliefs and values in a leadership role, validating common-sense policy and vision. For me, it is wonderful to see the masses across the country, gather in packs to lap up good content and inspirational ideas from Sherrington’s blog. He is someone I would work with again at the ‘drop of the hat.’ I know he is currently advertising for two new deputy headteachers; I am very happy in my job, so why not give it a go if this is something for you?
He comes strongly recommended from me! You can follow his blog at HeadGuruTeacher.com
… also known as @JohnTomsett. Tomsett is the godfather of blogging. Posting rarely but regularly, he is always on the money and has been often known for his blogposts to go viral; proving to anyone that his thoughts are not only on par with national pedagogy, but also intrinsic to our values and beliefs as teachers and humble human beings. Tomsett’s blogs give you a ‘feel-good-factor’, so why not subscribe now?
You can follow his blog at – JohnTomsett.wordpress.com
… also known as @DavidMcQueen. McQueen keeps us all grounded with his thoughts on equality, politics and education. He also has a wicked sense of humour and talks no-nonsense.
You can follow his blog at TallBlackOneSugar.wordpress.com
… also known as . McInerney – yes, everyone has difficult pronouncing her name – is a former teacher and editor of the up and coming newspaper, @SchoolsWeek. She rarely blogs, as she is always writing and reading elsewhere, but when she does it’s a cracker!
You can follow her blog at LauraMcInerney.com
… also known as @HuntingEnglish. Director of Learning and Research at his school, Quigley has his finger on the pulse and is an avid teacher-researcher. An English teacher by trade, he writes a seasoned blog on all aspects of education.
You can follow his blog at HuntingEnglish.com
… also known as @TristramShepard. At one time or another, Shepard is, was or might be one or more of the following; a student of industrial design; former head of art, design and technology in a secondary school; course tutor for the Open University ‘Design: Processes and Products’; a freelance educational/publishing consultant and OfSTED inspector for art and design and technology. He writes a passionate blog about the importance of creativity in schools.
You can follow his blog at TristramShepard.wordpress.com
… also known as @PsychologyMarc; with the latest rise in growth mindset and a desire for all teachers to understand better how the mind works, psychology teacher and researcher, Smith provides bloggers with much needed guidance on cognition. He is a writer for the TES and Huffington Post and his blogs are full of compassion and honesty.
You can follow his blog at PsychologyInEducation.wordpress.com
Blogs To Follow 2016:
I have now subscribed to each of them so that they become part of my thinking and reading.
Here are some of the blogs I have dipped into throughout 2015; I intend to make them part of my weekly digest.
… also known as @; I wish Bennie would blog more. Her blog strap-line is ‘unpicking education and society, one blog post at a time’ and this she does. Kara blogs about gender inequality, BME, social justice and leadership to name a few.
You can follow here blog at EdStatesWoman.wordpress.com
… also known as @ChrisChivers2; former headteacher Chivers is an established blog I have only started to follow. Chivers has over forty years of experience in education, as a teacher, consultant and adviser. His blog – particularly on Why Teach? – is well worth a read.
You can follow his blog at ChrisChiversThinks.weebly.com
… also known as @PookyH; a passionate blogger for mental health, who loves to research and write about mental health, wellbeing and PSHE. Some of her blog topics will make your eyes water!
You can follow her blog at InOurHands.com
… also know as @atharby; English teacher and research-lead Tharby is based on the West Sussex coast and provokes much thought for me in each of his posts. He is one of my go-to sources for everything to do with the English curriculum. His new book, Making Every Lesson Count is based upon six pedagogical principles and the strategies that make them come alive in the classroom, combining robust evidence with the practical wisdom of effective teachers.
You can follow his blog at ReflectingEnglish.wordpress.com
… also known as @; what I admire about Manzone, is that she is not afraid to blog about what she really thinks, even if it upsets other people (which is (mostly) never an intended act). She is willing to challenge current debate and is now a regular voice in @SchoolsWeek. It is great to see here views published; they are much needed.
You can follow her blog at HeyMissSmith.blogspot.co.uk.
… also known as @C is a blogger I regularly dip into from the USA. Blogging for over 10 years on education(!), Davis is a powerhouse in the blogging community, frequently ranked in the top 30 blogs worldwide by Teach 100.
You can follow her blog at CoolCatTeacher.com
… also known as @. Picardo is an avid digital champion and is keen to explore how devices can enhance, not deter learning. Never shy to express and challenge views, Picardo is also full of good humour and much-needed wit in the blogosphere. Decide to ban mobile phones in classrooms? Don’t let Picardo know! He may well just change your point of view with seasoned and exemplar material …
You can follow his blog at Medium.com/@josepicardoshs
… also known as @Il; photographer, maths teacher and senior leader, Small is a blogger on depression, along with other forms of mental illness. She has a source of charm and honesty …
You can follow her blog at MindShackles.co.uk
Wishes for 2016:
And here are three educators I wish would start tapping on their keyboards rather than on their mobile phones;
You can follow Wilson at @RosBigWriting; with over forty-five years experience in education, including twenty-seven years in schools! Wilson shares her wit and no-nonsense points of view, frequently!
… also known as @JazminCloud; I worked with Villiers several years ago in a national challenge school. It was indeed that and it has been wonderful to see her progress from English teacher to deputy headteacher. Full of opinion and common-sense, Villiers has a blog, but I just wish she would blog much more regularly.
Who are you going to follow in 2016?
This is a post of all the bloggers I am regularly reading. Do not interpret it in any other way e.g. pedagogy, ethnicity or gender etc. If this blog upsets you, then you have missed the point of my simple intention to share blogs worth reading with others who are a) not blogging or b) would like to discover other blogs to read.